xvii. court lady oh's death

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News arrived within the night to Damiwon that Princess Eunha had been thrown into the dungeons. Upon hearing this, Ji-ae had begged for Court Lady Oh to convince the Palace that Eunha is innocent and would never put poison on anyone else's drink.

Court Lady Oh became stone cold. She had the slightest idea that it would be Queen Yoo who be behind all this plan and used Eunha to frame her.

"Court Lady Oh! My lady Eunha...please help her." Ji-ae wailed as tears continously kept running down her cheeks, she went down on her knees and placed her hands and head on the floor.

"Get up! I will do what I can to help her." Court Lady Oh spoke, and Ji-ae did as to what she was told.

Ji-ae got up in her feet and held her hands. "Thank you, Court Lady Oh." She spoke, more like a mumble. She still had her head looking down on the wooden floors.

"Now leave." Court Lady Oh spat. And Ji-ae scurried away from Court Lady Oh's room. When Ji-ae left, Court Lady Oh lets out a sigh. She pulls a drawer open and reveals a dirty and old white cloth with a few blood stains. This was when she was giving birth to a child but the child had died because Queen Yoo indirectly gave her the poison in disguise of a herb.

The night was rather late, but nonetheless, Court Lady Oh still made the effort to get into the palace.

"What brings you here?" King Taejo asks.

"It was me who put poison." She falsely admitted.

"Don't get into this position. We all know that you didn't do it." King Taejo spoke.

"Please, Your Highness. I put the poison. Ten years ago, I was about to give birth, but I was ill and weak. So they gave me a herb that will help me. Everyday and everynight, I kept drinking that herb. Even when I couldn't sleep, I still drank the herb with quince tea. Only to find out that the herb was poison." She admits. King Taejo looked at her deeply. Court Lady Oh then pulled out the cloth that was filled with dirt and blood.

"It was me who put poison." She falsely admits again.

Believe it or not, King Taejo could see the lies in her eyes. But he knew that she was doing this just to save Eunha.

"You will be persecuted tomorrow noon." King Taejo spoke finally.

If it were not for Court Lady Oh, Eunha would be the one to be persecuted.

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The following morning, after a night full of whips with a wooden stick in her back and a handful of slaps from different court ladies, Eunha was set free from the dungeons.

She was curious to know who it was, would she be able to forgive the person or not? The color had drained in her skin and she was paler than before. Her back and lips being bloody. Despite looking like a mess, she found Court Lady Oh walking in the castle. She wore the same all white hanbok and was accompanied by the Palace's guards.

"Court Lady Oh..." Eunha mumbled, she didn't have the energy to shout or call out to her. But she was still thankful that she had looked her way. She limply went to her, her legs and feet not being in the best condition.

"Go home now. Ji-ae will tend to heal you." Court Lady Oh spoke without sincerity.

"But....what about you-" but Eunha was cut off.

"I'm going to be persecuted. It was me who put poison." Eunha couldn't believe to what she was hearing.

"You wouldn't do that!" She spoke louder, using all the remaining energy she had just to do so.

"You wouldn't do that because, even if King Taejo is a king, you still see him as the boy you fell inlove in your childhood!" She wailed, Eunha fell back on her knees. Court Lady Oh was in tears too.

"You can't do that!"

"I'm the one who did it!"

"The King should know you're lying!"

"The King knows I did it!"

Tears continued to fall down on the young princess' eyes. The palace guards held on to Court Lady Oh's arms. But before they could drag her, Eunha spoke for one last time.

"I will remember you, Court Lady Oh. Thank you for being my mother."

And the last sentence hit Court Lady Oh in her chest.

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It was a rainy day for the persecution of Court Lady Oh. The King was standing at the veranda with astronomer Choi Ji Mong. As the guards put on the rope around her neck and kicked the chair away, Court Lady Oh's feet wiggled for the chair to stand again. After moment's of wiggling them, she stopped, signalling her death.

And in the veranda, after the king had witnessed her death, he lost his balance. But astronomer Choi Ji Mong quickly held him up again.

"Sooyeon..." he whispered, and his heart made a pang.

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